Confessions of a So-called Middle Child

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Confessions of a So-called Middle Child

Charlie C. Cooper is about to start a new school. She got into some trouble at her old school and was forced to leave. This is something that she hopes to keep secret. She doesn’t feel it’s all her fault. She’s the middle child, caught between Mother Teresa and the cutest kid in the world. To top it all off, she’s required to attend therapy. The therapist has a suggestion for Charlie. Since she’s so eager to be among the popular girls, he wants her to befriend the most bullied girl in her class. If she can do this, there will be no more sessions. Then she meets Marta Urloff and she knows that this will not be an easy challenge. She wants her new popular friends to like her, but she also wants to end the sessions with Dr. Scales. The more time she spends with Marta, the more she starts to see a different side of her. She also begins to have a positive impact on Marta. Marta also has a changing effect on Charlie. Charlie realizes that being popular is not the most important thing in the world especially when you achieve popularity by being a bully.

Charlie is facing a few challenges of young people. Being a middle child, trying to fit in with the popular clique and bullies are issues that people face every day. To begin with, it’s slow moving for Charlie to be nice to Marta. She’s so afraid of what her popular friends will think of her. Plus, Marta is not a very willing recipient of Charlie’s time and attention. Luckily, Charlie sees that the other girls will do anything to get what they want and she’s not ready to sacrifice Marta’s feelings for that. She’s beginning to learn exactly what Dr. Scales has been trying to teach her.

The author tells the story in Charlie’s voice. Charlie comes across as a materialistic, selfish girl. She’ll do anything to be included in the clique with Trixie and Babs. Trixie is the ringleader of these mean girls. I was glad that Dr. Scales gave Charlie a task in order to help her change her attitude towards others. It was interesting to see how Charlie sets out to accomplish this. She even admits that it will be a challenge.

Based on media coverage of bullying, this story is very believable and is probably played out daily. I found myself getting angry when I read the things these girls would do just because Marta is different and not as popular. I was relieved that Charlie decided to stand up for the underdog and not care what others think of her. I don’t think she realizes the impact she made on Marta’s life and her own.


Book Blurb for Confessions of a So-called Middle Child

Meet Charlie C. Cooper, reformed bully, misguided fashionista, and so-called middle child! Fans of Louise Rennison, Harriet the Spy, and Mean Girls will cheer when they meet her. This fresh tween coming-of-age story is an honest look at bullying and the obstacles of middle school from talented screenwriter Maria T. Lennon. Extras in the back of the paperback offer tidbits about famous middle children (including Abraham Lincoln and Madonna) and a special interview with heroine Charlie herself.

Both seriously funny and poignant, this story follows the hilarious Charlie as she tries to fit in at her new school in Los Angeles. As a middle child, she knows what it feels like to be overlooked. To get attention, she resorts to becoming a prankster, which leads to big trouble. So her therapist gives her a seventh-grade mission—she must turn over a new leaf, find the most bullied girl at her school ("Marta the Farta"), and become her friend.

Charlie faces down the mean girls and decides between right and wrong once and for all. And she does it all in turquoise Doc Martens boots! As Charlie learns to help Marta, she uncovers the meaning of true friendship and impresses new crush Bobby along the way.


Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2014 4.00